Sip and Sweat Your Way to Sharper Vision as You Age

As you get older, your eyes become more susceptible to damage and vision loss, but you don’t have to accept it as an inevitable part of aging. Research has shown that there are simple lifestyle adjustments you can make to protect your eyes and maintain your vision. We’ll explore how staying active, enjoying an occasional drink, and incorporating other healthy habits into your daily routine can help save your aging eyes.

Stay Active and Exercise

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health discovered that staying active and exercising regularly are key factors in preventing vision loss. According to the study, engaging in significant exercise at least three days a week reduces your risk of visual impairment by 58% compared to a sedentary lifestyle.

Exercise can improve blood flow to the retina, help maintain eye pressure within a healthy range, and reduce the risk of inflammation, all of which are essential for maintaining eye health. Aim for a mix of cardiovascular activity, such as walking or cycling, as well as muscle-strengthening exercises like yoga or pilates to provide a well-rounded fitness program and reduce your risk of vision loss.

Enjoy a Drink in Moderation

It may be surprising to learn that light alcohol consumption can benefit your eyes. The same study found that having an occasional drink of wine or beer, preferably one drink a week or less, cuts your risk of sight problems by around 50% compared to non-drinkers.

However, moderation is key, as excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to other health issues, which may indirectly affect your vision. Keep in mind that one standard drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Get Regular Eye Exams

It’s crucial to schedule regular eye exams, especially as you age. Early detection of eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration can lead to more successful treatments and help maintain your vision. It’s recommended to have an eye exam with a dilated pupil at least every two years once you’re over 60.

Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet

Eating a balanced diet can help protect your eyes by providing the essential nutrients they need to function optimally. Specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants have been shown to promote eye health, including:

  • Vitamin A (found in sweet potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens)
  • Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits, broccoli, and bell peppers)
  • Vitamin E (found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils)
  • Zinc (found in meat, seafood, and legumes)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts)
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin (found in leafy greens, yellow and orange vegetables, and eggs)

Protect Your Eyes From the Sun

Excessive exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wide-brimmed hats can also help shield your eyes from harmful rays.

Quit Smoking

Not only is smoking harmful to your lungs and overall health, but it can also increase your risk of vision loss. Smoking increases the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, and dry eye syndrome. Quitting smoking at any age can benefit your eye health and reduce your risk of vision loss.

Manage Chronic Health Conditions

Maintaining control of chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol is essential for maintaining good eye health. These conditions can increase the risk of damage to the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision loss. Managing these health issues through proper medication, diet, and lifestyle choices can help protect your eyes from further damage.


Protecting your eyes and sustaining good vision as you age might seem challenging, but with a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle, you can significantly reduce your risk of vision loss. Stay active, enjoy the occasional drink, eat a nutrient-rich diet, and schedule regular eye exams, and you’ll help ensure you maintain healthy eyes as you get older.